January 12, 2022, Jonathan broke the world’s record as the oldest land animal as he marked his 190th birthday.
Before the present title, he was recorded as the oldest chelonian. This title was held by Tu’i Malila, a tortoise that lived at least 188 years. Tu’i Malila died in 1965 while living with the royal family of Tonga after Captain Cook handed him over to the royal family in c.1777.
Jonathan, who is currently the world’s oldest land animal, is assumed to be born in c.1832. Therefore, Jonathan is 190 years old.
His age is assumed because he was fully mature when he arrived at St Helena from Seychelles in 1882. A clear indication that he should be at least 50 years old.
Since this is a rough estimation, we can proudly say that Jonathan is far more than what we thought.
Furthermore, an old photograph which was taken between 1882 and 1886, revealed Jonathan grazing in the garden of Plantation House well and fully grown! This proves the fact that he is more than we think.
Currently, Jonathan enjoys the company of other tortoises: Fred, Emm, and David after he was gifted to Sir Willams Grey-Wilson.
Jonathan’s favorite foods are bananas, apples, lettuce,e, and other related foods and yes, he still mates with Emma and Fred. He has enough energy left with him and would live longer.
Jonathan has “come through the winter well”, an update from the St Helena Government says. “He grazes well now, but is unaware of food if we simply place it on the ground.”
“The Veterinary Section is still feeding him by hand once a week to boost his calories, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, as he is blind and has no sense of smell.”
“His hearing though is excellent and he loves the company of humans, and responds well to his vet Joe Hollins’ voice as he associates him with a feast.”
“He is a local icon, symbolic of persistence in the face of change,” – Joe Hollins, Jonathan’s vet
Major Human Events Witnessed By Jonathan.
• 1838 – this was when the first human photograph was taken
• 1876 – the year the first telephone call was made.
• 1878 – this was the year the incandescent lightbulb was invented.
• 1887 – this was when Eiffel Tower, the world’s tallest iron structure, got completed.
• 1903 – the first power-driven flight took to the skies, piloted by the Wright.
• 1969 – When the first people– Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon.